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$50 million NSF grant to advance cyberinfrastructure for big data in life sciences
Date:9/18/2013

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $50 million to a multi-institution collaborative headquartered at the University of Arizona's BIO5 Institute to create a national cyberinfrastructure for the biological sciences.

The renewal grant for the iPlant Collaborative, with partner sites at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas, Austin, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in New York, and University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), will allow scientists around the world to use proven computational tools to analyze very large datasets to efficiently address questions of global importance, advancing the understanding of biology beyond which any individual research group is capable.

The original five-year $50 million project, initiated in 2008, was the largest grant ever awarded by the NSF in the biological sciences, and three times larger than any NSF grant received by an institute in the state of Arizona at the time. Today, even in a precarious time for national funding agencies, the NSF renewed the iPlant award for another five years, increasing the total investment in the project to $100 million.

"Today's announcement is proof that our investment in higher education is paying off. Our public universities have adopted aggressive goals to increase externally-funded research and it is evident they are succeeding." Arizona Gov. Janice K. Brewer said. "For Arizona's economy to remain vibrant in the future, we need to grow the industries, like the biosciences, that benefit from the high quality research that takes place in our universities. We are tremendously proud that our state, and the University of Arizona, was chosen to continue this leading-edge research project."

This type of large, collaborative project is part of the return on investment that the UA promised the state of Arizona when the BIO5 Institute was launched in 2001. BIO5 was created with financial support generated
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Contact: Daniel Stolte
stolte@email.arizona.edu
520-626-4402
University of Arizona
Source:Eurekalert

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